While the three of us were steadily rooted in this flat there were passers-by like the ones I have mentioned above. We were soon joined by 3 musketeers from NIFTY (National Institute of Foundry Technology). With them, they brought a music system, crockery, an embargo on office related conversations, and among other things, a lot of joy and gaiety.**
Within a month face of this flat changed. We cooked every day, partied every weekend and seldom cleared trash (perhaps because we never had something that could be called trash). Unwittingly, we were brewing recipe for a new ecology, an ecology that could support and sustain perfectly hygienic cockroaches. They were hygienic because they never had to visit sinks, toilets and other usual habitation that their species is used to. There was food everywhere, and beneath the floor-carpet there was plenty of space and darkness for the cockroaches to thrive. Satisfying the necessary condition needed for co-existence, we never killed cockroaches (until then, Nishanth’s death balls rolled only later). (Sorry Nishanth, if you should ever read this, I still don’t have a count of “h”s in your name)
One fine Saturday evening, having returned from the factory I was looking for water. I found plenty of bottles, some half filled bottles with red or orange aerated drinks, some empty and there was also one with some chips in it! And Finlay, to my respite there was a green bottle with clear, colorless liquid in it. I did not have to bother with the lid because there was none. I hurriedly gulped it.
There were multiple surprises waiting for me. One, this was not water, this was Sprite, with the lid open, now for almost 24 hrs, all the carbon dioxide in it had escaped and it tasted YUK. Two, there was a tingling sensation in my throat; I had just swallowed a live cockroach! (Or so I thought). Just then, knock goes the door, in comes a friend and finds me gargling thin air. I just told him that I had an irritation in my throat.I did not tell him that I might have swallowed a live cockroach to save the embarrassment. I felt a sneeze coming through as I was speaking to this friend. I covered my mouth and .."Achoo" the cockroach shoots right out of my left nostril and lands right next to my friend. We were all dumbstruck in bewilderment, my friend, I and the cockroach. I have no clue what the cockroach had seen in there but it was motionless for almost 30 secs. My friends jaws dropped and i just had it confirmed that it was a cockroach that I swallowed earlier.
“gaiety” does not connote any sexual preference here. The word is just tabooed with homosexuality hitting the news so often “gaiety” deserves to be used and understood in the right context